• 2017 May 18 10:09

    Oblique icebreaker Baltika breaks ice in the Arctic

    The oblique icebreaker Baltika is serving as a standby vessel at the Arctic Gates oil terminal in the Gulf of Ob, says the ship designer Aker Arctic. In May 2017, Gazprom Neft's Novoportovskoye field reached a significant milestone when the total cumulative oil shipped from the terminal onboard icebreaking shuttle tankers exceeded five million tonnes. Aker Arctic had a significant role in the development of this year-round transportation system.

    Baltika, the world’s first icebreaker with an asymmetric hull that allows icebreaking in ahead and astern directions as well as sideways, has been in service in the Gulf of Ob for almost two years. The vessel, originally designed by Aker Arctic as a multipurpose emergency and rescue vessel for the Gulf of Finland, was chartered by Gazprom Neft as an interim standby vessel for the Arctic Gates terminal in 2015 following successful full-scale ice trials in the same region. Alexey Shtrek, who works as Development Manager at Aker Arctic, recently visited Baltika while the vessel was in operation off Cape Kamenny.

    Despite the fact that the vessel was not designed for operation in Arctic ice conditions, icebreaker Baltika has successfully carried out ice management at the Arctic Gates oil terminal in the Gulf of Ob for two consecutive winters. In early May, the thickness of fast ice around the terminal was about 1.6 m which is more than the maximum ice thickness found in the Gulf of Finland.

    When tankers arrive at the Arctic Gates oil terminal – every other day on average – Baltika supports the mooring and loading operations together with the icebreaking supply vessel Vladislav Strizhov. The more maneuverable oblique icebreaker also independently maintains the approach channel and keeps the tanker mooring site near the terminal clean of brash ice. During these ice management operations, the asymmetric vessel can break the frozen edge of the channel with the inclined port side and clear the channel by pushing the brash ice with the vertical starboard side. The ability to use the azimuth propulsion units – two in the stern and one in the bow – to keep the vessel stationary while simultaneously flushing brash ice around the vessel has been highly appreciated by Baltika's master.

    In addition to ice management, Baltika is also used to transfer loading and mooring masters as well as pilots to the tankers. The vessel's standby mission also include continuous readiness for emergency rescue and oil spill response operations.

    While Baltika is acting as an interim standby vessel, Aker Arctic developed the Aker ARC 130 A icebreaker design to support tanker loading operations at the Arctic Gates terminal. Two vessels, Aleksandr Sannikov and Andrei Vertitsky, are under construction at Vyborg Shipyard. These icebreakers, which represent a further development of the Finnish icebreaker Polaris with higher propulsion power and increased ice class, are capable of breaking up to 2 m thick level ice in both ahead and astern directions. They are specifically designed to operate in shallow water and challenging ice conditions such as thick consolidated brash ice.

    Aker Arctic was also involved in the development of the 42,000 DWT shallow-draught icebreaking shuttle tankers that were built specifically to transport oil from the Gulf of Ob to the ice-free port of Murmansk. The lead ship, Shturman Albanov, was recently awarded Ship of the Year 2016 at the international 2017 Marine Propulsion Awards. These Arc7 ice class tankers are based on the double acting ship (DAS) principle developed by Aker Arctic for ships operating primarily without icebreaker assistance in challenging ice conditions. The hull form was developed in co-operation with Samsung Heavy Industries and the development work included five weeks of ice model testing at Aker Arctic's ice laboratory in Helsinki, Finland.


2018 March 17

06:48 Seatrade convicted for trafficking toxic ships

2018 March 16

18:06 Rijkswaterstaat awards Afsluitdijk project to Levvel consortium
17:36 HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai handles new record ship
17:05 ICS publishes latest Flag State Performance Table
16:51 Vladimir Putin inspected the completed new road section of the Crimean Bridge
16:35 Wison successfully delivers the global largest single cracking furnace module
16:20 GTT announces the end of the test phase of its new LNG brick® technology
16:05 Fincantieri starts building of ultra-luxury cruise ship for Regent Seven Seas Cruises
15:30 Caterpillar Marine announces first European IMO Tier III tugboat
15:03 Throughput of port Kavkaz up 67% to 4.3 million tonnes in 2M’18
14:39 Port of Hamburg proves effectiveness in handling mega-carriers
14:05 Training for port facility security staff arranged in the Dominican Republic
13:42 Multipurpose Reloading Complex takes lead in the industry
13:20 Karachi Shipyards & Engineering Works delivers two Damen Stan Patrol 1605 FRP patrol boats to Pakistan Customs
13:17 Bunker prices continue going down at the port of Novorossiysk, Russia (graph)
12:51 52 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 15-16
12:28 Seaports of Russia’s Azov Sea Basin handled 16.77 million tonnes of cargo in winter 2017-2018, up 63.8% Y-o-Y
12:04 Latin America maritime cooperation centre launched
11:40 Vympel Shipyard laid down second armament support ship of Project 20360М for RF Defence Ministry (photo)
11:15 Vostochny Port JSC develops railway infrastructure under its Phase 3 project (photo)
10:52 IMO joined leading oil spill experts to discuss future issues concerning oil spill preparedness, response and restoration
10:27 Brent Crude futures price down 0.11% to $65.05, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.05% to $61.16
10:09 Panama Canal signs agreement with Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of Mato Grosso
09:48 IMO is looking at safety aspects of on shore power supply to ships
09:34 Bunker prices are flat at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,150 points
09:03 Damen unveils Multi Cat Water Injection Dredger

2018 March 15

18:25 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
18:11 ICS releases latest Flag State Performance Table (with new criteria included)
18:05 Fincantieri will cooperate with Barzan Holdings
17:57 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 2M’18 up 16% Y-o-Y to 2.32 million tonnes
17:35 Second Sanmar Voith Schneider Propeller tug joins sister in Israel
17:20 Throughput of port Vyborg up 19% to 197,800 tonnes in 2M’18
17:05 Seaspan acquires Greater China Intermodal Investments LLC
17:02 MABUX: global bunker market still in 'wait-and-see' mood
16:35 DP World announces strong financial results for 2017
16:16 Throughput of port Vysotsk down 5% to 3.06 million tonnes in 2M’18
16:05 ECSA and WSC call for the revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive to improve the efficiency of maritime transport
15:39 Port of Oakland imports up 14.9 percent in February 2018
15:31 Sanmar orders 42 Rolls-Royce thrusters
15:22 Coastal facilities and hydraulic engineering structures under FNPP project in Chukotka to be completed in August 2019
15:07 Port of Dover awards major contract for new Refrigerated Cargo Terminal
14:33 Yang Ming to launch new Japan-Malaysia-Vietnam direct service
14:11 Throughput of port Primorsk in 2M’18 down 32% Y-o-Y to 7.47 million tonnes
13:50 Throughput of port Ust-Luga up 6% to 16.59 million tonnes in 2M'18
13:25 VARD secures contract for the construction of one fishing vessel for Remøybuen AS
13:12 Throughput of Big Port St. Petersburg up 11% to 9.01 million tonnes in 2M’18
12:30 Paweł Jakubowski appointed as President of Polskie LNG S.A. Management Board
11:45 Freeport of Riga is getting ready for new cruise ship season
11:44 MOL announces delivery of the Beluga Ace, 1st next-generation FLEXIE series car carrier
11:23 34 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 14-15
11:00 Bunker prices are going up at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:38 Marine Recruiting Agency and Corporate University “Norilsk Nickel” take on joint educational project
10:14 Brent Crude futures price up 0.05% to $64.92, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.11% to $61.03
09:49 Arctic Council will gather in Levi, Finland on 22-23 March 2018
09:17 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,169 points

2018 March 14

18:26 Port of Antwerp sets up maritime training institute in Brazil
18:06 Port of Oakland releases a new 5-year strategic plan
17:55 Baltic Workboats delivers ten more 15m Baltic wave piercing pilot boats to Denmark pilots stations
17:36 Fincantieri upgrades ultra-luxury cruise ship Silver Spirit